DELIGHTED booklovers were enthralled when they took their first steps into the Bodleian’s new Weston Library at the weekend.

The Grade II listed building, in Broad Street, opened its doors to the public on Saturday after the three-year, £80m transformation.

Demonstrations of an old printing press and delicate book-binding methods, and an exhibition of some of the Bodleian’s priceless treasures – including a copy of Magna Carta, a Jane Austen manuscript and religious texts dating back more than 1,000 years – kept visitors entertained.

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Osteopath Clive Lindley-Jones, from Iffley Fields, Oxford, braved the chilly spring weather to become the first visitor over the threshold at 8am on Saturday.

The father-of-three said “I’m interested in all these changes to buildings. I have been watching it progress, seeing the building work going on and I was interested to see this combination of the old and the new.”

The official opening of the building, formerly known as the New Bodleian, was followed by the launch of the library’s Marks of Genius: Treasures from the Bodleian exhibition.

It celebrates more than 2,000 years of work from poets, authors, scientists and composers, which have been preserved by the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries.

To mark the occasion, Mr Lindley-Jones was presented with a hardback copy of a book which accompanies the exhibition.

Mr Lindley-Jones, 67, said: “I think my wife will be rather cross I have yet another book, but this is a splendid book so I’m sure she wouldn’t mind.”

Bodley’s librarian Richard Ovenden, who handed the book over to Mr Lindley-Jones, said: “It was just a really symbolic gesture to thank the public for their patience as we have spent years with hoardings up.

“It’s wonderful to be able to share our collections that we have been gathering over the centuries.”